December 14, 2018

A visibly subdued Michael Cohen appeared on Good Morning America today, sitting for his first interview since his sentencing yesterday for campaign finance fraud in a NY U.S. District Court. During the interview, he admitted knowing that making hush payments to women for Trump was wrong, and he said that the president did, too.

"I stood up before the world yesterday, and I accepted the responsibility of my actions," he said, noting that Trump didn't.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You worked for him a long time. I was around you many, many years ago where you seemed to be having fun.

COHEN: Correct -- there was a lot of fun going on at the Trump organization.

STEPHANOPOULOS: ... working with Donald Trump ...

COHEN: I enjoyed working with my colleagues there as well.

STEPHANOPOULOS: When did it change?

COHEN: You know, I can't give you a specific time that it went from point A to point B. It was just a change. I will tell you that the gentleman that is sitting now in the Oval Office, 1600 Pennsylvania avenue, is not the Donald Trump that I remember from Trump Tower.


COHEN: He's a very different individual.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What's happened to him?

COHEN: I think the pressure of the job is much more than what he thought it was going to be. It's not like the Trump organization where he would bark out orders and people would blindly follow what he wanted done. There's a system here, he doesn't understand the system, and it's sad because the country has never been more divisive. And one of the hopes that I have out of the punishment that I've received, as well as the cooperation that I have given, I will be remembered in history as helping to bring this country back together.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The special counsel did say that you are doing your best to tell the truth about everything related to the investigation, everything related to Russia. Do you think President Trump is telling the truth about that?


STEPHANOPOULOS: That's a big statement.

STEPHANOPOULOS: If you were sitting in this chair right now, what would you say to him?

COHEN: Lay off Twitter, run the country the way that we all thought that you would, be able to take the Democrats, Republicans, bring them together and bring the country together instead of dividing the country.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you think he has ears to hear that?

COHEN: I don't know. I don't think so.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Was yesterday the hardest day of your life, or is that going too far?

COHEN: It's an understatement.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yet you feel you've turned a corner.

COHEN: I know I have.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And when you look back at the Michael Cohen who spent 10 years with Donald Trump, what would you say to him on that first day?

COHEN: "What were you thinking? You knew better. You know better."

STEPHANOPOULOS: How does this end for Donald Trump?

COHEN: That sort of gets into the whole investigation right now between special counsel's office, the attorney general's office, you also have the Southern District of New York -- I don't want to jeopardize any of their investigations.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you still cooperating?

COHEN: If they want me. I am here and I am willing to answer whatever additional questions that they may have for me.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Right, so you're saying there's certain areas that you can't get into because you're still cooperating with them.

COHEN: Correct. And out of respect for process.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Why do you think President Trump is lashing out against you in such a personal way? Daily, almost now, calling you weak. Calling you a liar. Is he afraid?

COHEN: Seems like it. That's what he does. That's what he does.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you afraid of him?

COHEN: It's never good to be on the wrong side of the president of the United States of America. But somehow or another, this task has now fallen onto my shoulders, and, as I also stated, that I will spend the rest of my life in order to fix the mistake that I made.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How are you going to do that?

COHEN: I don't know. One day at a time.

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